Redeeming Relationship, Relationships That Redeem

Free Sociability and the Completion of Humanity in the Thought of Friedrich Schleiermacher

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Matthew Ryan Robinson
Religion in Philosophy and Theology
  • Tübingen, Germany: 
    Mohr Siebeck
    , August
     220 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Andrew Dole forthcoming.


A renewed focus on the role of interpersonal relationships in the cultivation of religious sensibilities is emerging in the study of religion. Matthew Ryan Robinson addresses this question in his study of Friedrich Schleiermacher's notion of »free sociability«. In Schleiermacher's ethics, the human person is formed in and consists of intimate, tightly interconnecting relationships with others. Schleiermacher describes this sociability as a natural tendency prompted by experiences of physical and existential limitation that lead one to look to others to complete one's experience. But this experience of incompleteness and orientation to »the completion of humanity« also constitute the fundamental structure of religion in Schleiermacher's theory of religion as orientation to »the universe and the relationship of humanity to it.« Thus, Schleiermacher not only presents sociability as basic to human nature, but also as inherently religious – and, potentially, redemptive. What making such a claim means and the implications it raises are central considerations of this study of Schleiermacher's ethics, theory of religion and ecclesiology.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Matthew Ryan Robinson is Research Assistant in Practical Theology in the Protestant Theological Faculty of the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.

Add New Comment

Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.

Log in to post comments